Ask Cynthia: My husband saw his ex and didn’t tell me. Should I bring it up?

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What is a wife to do? My husband went to visit his extended family back in England (my daughter was with him part of the tour). You know how it goes: he did not sign out of his email and I saw that he visited an old lover and her husband. (I guess it's good news they did not hide it from him!)

I wonder if he is going to share this with me when he comes back, because I feel my trust just crumpled. I also feel for her husband. It must be awkward to greet your wife's ex lover...?

(My husband dated her on and off long distance for a few years and then I came along and he married me 25 years ago.)

Is it ever OK to dig up and old lover and do this behind your spouse’s back? Should I say silent, if he is, about this?


I’m sorry you are feeling like your trust is crumpled.
 
I do understand why you feel that way…..he didn’t mention that he was reconnecting with his ex and because of this you feel like he’s hiding something. But the truth is that even in the closest of relationships we still retain some kind of a private life. That doesn’t mean someone who keeps the occasional secret is automatically untrustworthy- it means they are human.
 
My first question would be; what was the tone of the email exchanges you found? If they are super flirty or loveydovey, then I think you should talk to him about this when he gets home. But if it was just a “Hey was nice meeting up for that pub for a beer…your husband is a great man”  kind of tone, I’m not sure that you need to.
 
Listen, I don’t know your husband - but I suspect that if the email exchange was casual there’s nothing to worry about. And I would venture to guess that the reason he is hiding it is more to do with trying not to make you worried rather than actually hiding any of his actions.  
 
So why would anyone want to reconnect with an ex? Because they are curious, because they were good friends and occasionally miss that person, because they are trying to reconnect with a lost part of themselves, because they are travelling to a strange place where they don’t know anyone else, the list of reasons goes on and on. Your husbands reasons could include any or all of those.   
 
My suggestion: give him the benefit of the doubt. When he gets home and you’re talking about the trip you could just say (in the spirit of curiosity, not accusation): “Hey, your email was open and I happened to see that you reconnected with so-and-so - how did that go?”
 
Or you could just let it go.
 
Remember: he dated her a loooong time ago. And he CHOSE YOU.  

You have been married for 25 years. You’re doing something right.

Try not to worry.


Cynthia Loyst is our resident relationship expert and a passionate advocate for healthy sexual information. As a sought-after relationship coach and columnist, she’s known for giving advice and opinions on the joys and complications of love. She has received awards from SSSS (Society For The Scientific Study of Sexuality) and Planned Parenthood in Toronto. She is also SAR (Sexual Attitude Reassessment) certified, a member of SIECCAN (Sex Information and Education Council of Canada) and holds a Sex Education Certificate from The University of Michigan. Cynthia is also the founder of FindYourPleasure.com. For legal disclaimer, click here


 
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